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Marrying the Black Swan Recognizing the inconsistent contingencies of the world

Chairing a panel at the festival Action Field Kodra on September 7th, 2013.

Marrying the Black Swan

Recognizing the inconsistent contingencies of the world

The panel entitled Marrying the Black Swan with the subtitle Recognizing the inconsistent contingencies ofthe world aims to articulate the post-condition of the ‘unexpected’ taking place. The black swan metaphorrefers to the unpredicted twist in the continuum, let this continuity be the repeating events of everyday, or the(seemingly) deterministic nature of things as such. That is to say, the black swan day is the day where thepsychological conditioning is ruptured. This theory has been developed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb to explainthe disproportionate role of high-profile, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normalexpectations in history, science, finance, and technology; and the psychological biases that make peopleindividually and collectively blind to uncertainty.The panel will be taking place at Action Kodra festival in Thessaloniki, where the festival this year isfocussing on the recent economic crisis in Greece, let alone other European countries. The festival artisticallyposing the infamous Cavafy poem* as the thematic, where it aims to articulate the state of walls being builtvia economic, social and political circumstances and the relationship of the individual to these conditions.In this regard, the black swan day applies as the unforeseen economic crisis that has been shifting theparameters of European Union, let alone the citizens of such countries at stake. The panel discussion willfocus on the aftermath of such a black swan day, aiming to investigate rational modes of relating to such anevent and building a future in regard. In other words, seeking answers to the questions: What can be doneafter recognising the true nature of the world, let alone the universe; How do we built minor contingencies letalone further our states; How do we trans-pass the (invisible) walls that are built around us?

Speakers on the Panel are:

Prof, Michael Haliassos

MA. Margarida Mendes – The Barber Shop

Annika Kuhlmann – The Silent University

* Walls

Without reflection, without mercy, without shame,they built strong walls and high, and compassed me about.And now I sit here and consider and despair.My brain is worn with meditating on my fate:I had outside so many things to terminate.Oh! why when they were building did I not beware!But never a sound of building, never an echo came.Out of the world, insensibly, they shut me out.by C. P. Cavafy.Translated, from the Greek, by J. C. Cavafy. Ikaros, 2003)

Information on the ACTION FIELD KODRA Festival:

Action Field Kodra” is organised from 2001 together with the festival of the municipality of Kalamaria “Parathin alos”. It started when the music events of the festival were transferred to the parkland of the ex-militarycamp at Karabournaki. The triggering event was the abandoned plates, the army left there. Using thismaterial, the first meeting of young artists of contemporary art took place. With only few resources and agreat deal of enthusiasm, those artists transferred that abandoned place into a unique experience that hassince then invited citizens to come in contact with contemporary art in the city, in nature, close to ThermaicGulf.From its very beginning, “Action Field Kodra” had its focus on young and emerging artists and the researchfor art activities. Today, it is an artistic event closely connected with the city, an institution that has made agreat contribution in the artistic field of Greece and the establishment of the artistic scene, as it has hostedmost of the young artists, curators and art theorists of contemporary art.This dynamic and the important role of “Action Field Kodra” have established it as one of the mostimportant non museum exhibition of Northeastern Europe that each year presents the greatest trends in artpainting,sculpture, photography, video, new technology and installations, and scenography.Having art as a starting point as well as a meeting point for different expression forms, “Action Field Kodra”has, since 2011, included in its programme works and artists of music, dance, theatre, literature and is stillexpanding even further to include international conference and social intrusive actions in many public placesof Thessaloniki. Moreover, as art is one of the most penetrating mechanisms of understanding politicalcircumstances as well as one of the most intrusive methods of speech, the festival inaugurated a cycle ofinternational conferences and meetings for contemporary art and political and philosophical requirements.Each year, curation of the meetings is assigned to well known professionals.“Action Field Kodra” is addressed to every citizen seeing art not solely as art pleasure, but also as thought,communication, and political speech.